Singaporean telco StarHub has teamed up with Chinese IT firm Huawei to demonstrate 4G speeds of 1Gbps, currently the world's fastest 4G speeds indoors – but consumers will have to wait at least 12 months to use the service.
The 4G speed showcase, undertaken at a conference at the Pan Pacific Singapore hotel on Monday (April 11), is somewhat extraneous for the time being given that no phones on the market can connect at 1Gbps.
However, analysts suggest that handsets fitted with the appropriate technology will arrive around the second quarter of next year. As soon as they do, StarHub said it plans to deploy the service to consumers.
The demonstration by StarHub and Huawei involved using a single small cell base station, no bigger than a pack of A4 paper. The beauty of the small cells is that they can be fixed on ceilings and not bound by the same restrictions as traditional base stations, which can only be placed at certain locations.
StarHub said that the single cells, which are about one-eighth the size of traditional base stations, will be neatly deployed in busy areas where surfing speeds tend to suffer.
The 4G speeds they will offer will be more than triple what is available in Singapore today, which all three telcos currently provide.
StarHub's 300Mbps 4G heterogeneous network infrastructure (HetNet) has been in use in the Marina Bay area since last year, with its deployment coinciding with major events such as F1 and the SG50 Jubilee weekends.
The service will be rolled out to about 40 commercial buildings, malls and hospitals across the island by the end of this year. However, StarHub now has one eye on small cell solutions which will help "enhance network quality quickly and cost-efficiently" for customers within buildings and in crowded areas.